Year of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology
Other Degree Name/Area of Focus
Microbial Evolution and Ecology
Department or School/College
Division of Biological Sciences
John McCutcheon, Frank Rosenzweig, Jim Elser
paralog, copy number variation, dosage, cyanobacteria, RecA, iron
University of Montana
Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Evolution | Genomics
Acaryochloris is a recently discovered genus of cyanobacteria, unique in its use of an uncommon chlorophyll as its major photosynthetic pigment, and in its peculiar genome dynamics. Members of this genus exhibit increased genic copy number variation (CNV), which is thought to be primarily derived from gene duplications and horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Acaryochloris provides an ideal system to explore mechanisms behind maintenance of gene duplicates and the influence of CNV in local adaptation. Here, I propose a mechanism for retention of gene duplicates of the bacterial recombinase, RecA, in Acaryochloris genomes and provide preliminary evidence that these paralogs are becoming functionally divergent. I then focus on idiosyncratic CNV between two strains of Acaryochloris which were isolated from very different environments. I provide evidence of local adaptation to iron limitation in one strain, associate it with physiological differences between strains, and show that unique CNV drives changes in gene dosage and is associated with variable fitness and physiology.
Gallagher, Amy L., "CONTRIBUTIONS OF GENE COPY NUMBER VARIATION TO GENOME EVOLUTION AND LOCAL ADAPTATION OF THE CYANOBACTERIUM ACARYOCHLORIS" (2017). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 10957.
© Copyright 2017 Amy L. Gallagher